Simplicity Quotations


The senses of children are unprofaned. Their whole body is one sense. They take a physical pleasure in riding on a rail.—Journal, 7 July 1851
The too exquisitely cultured I avoid as I do the theater. Their life lacks reality. They offer me wine instead of water. They are surrounded by things that can be bought.—Journal, 26 June 1852
To what end do I lead a simple life at all, pray? That I may teach others to simplify their lives? — and so all our lives be simplified merely, like an algebraic formula? Or not, rather, that I may make use of the ground I have cleared to live more worthily and profitably?—Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 26 September 1855
What you call bareness and poverty is to me simplicity.—Journal, 5 December 1856
When it was proposed to me to go abroad, rub oft some rust, and better my condition in a worldly sense, I fear lest my life will lose some of its homeliness. If these fields and streams and woods, the phenomena of nature here, and the simple occupations of the inhabitants should cease to interest and inspire me, no culture or wealth would atone for the loss.—Journal, 11 March 1856
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